On 12 June, Leonardo announced the opening of its AW101 Training Centre next to Stavanger Sola Airport, Norway. Simultaneously, the company inaugurated the first training course for Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) aircrew, prior to delivery of the first two of 16 AW101s ordered by the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security for the search and rescue (SAR) role.
The training centre features a full flight simulator (FFS) jointly developed by Leonardo and CAE to Level D (the highest certification for commercial flight simulators), based around a CAE 3000 device. The centre will also house a RNoAF-owned AW101 SAR console training device linked to the FFS to provide rear crew training.
The simulator will enable pilots to practice challenging procedures without risk, such as low-level flight, confined area operations, autorotations and landing on platforms at sea. It combines a Leonardo Helicopters-developed flight dynamic model, avionics and aircraft software modelling, with CAE’s core simulation technologies, including: CAE TRUE six degree-of-freedom (DOF) electric motion system and high-performance vibration platform, replicating the vibration cues critical to helicopter pilots; a high-fidelity CAE MEDALLION-6000 visual system; and a direct projection 210x80° extreme field-of-view dome display system. It also includes important mission systems such as SAR autopilot modes, digital map, radar, aircraft mission management computer, multi-purpose control and display units, cockpit display system and flotation system.
“This facility will not only help reduce the cost of training but, most importantly, will enhance safety and enable aircrew to exploit the new capabilities the AW101 helicopter and its systems will provide in service,” Per-Willy Amundsen, Minister of Justice & Public Security, commented on opening the facility.